Lighters - Xikar Linea Single Torch Red
Time Will Tell
I thought I'd try one of these as a back-up to my Kiribi. On the up side it's a nicely designed piece and feels good in hand. On the minus side it's a bit of a blow torch so be careful not to scorch the rim of your pipe. My example took a little fiddling to get the flame height adjusted so the thing would stay lit but it's been working just fine. I've had a dozen lighters in this price range and none of them have lasted but I'm hoping this will be an exception. If it's still alive in 6 months I'll get another to keep in the car. Update......here we are a few months later and the Xikar has failed. No amount of purging, re-filling, cleaning, and cursing has coaxed a spark much less a flame. Meanwhile my 2 1/2 year old Kiribi is going strong. Lesson learned. Again.
Cornell & Diehl - Autumn Evening 2oz
So Far, So Good
First bowl this morning in a Savinelli poker that I only smoke aromatics in. I packed it loosely and puffed it slow. I've been an English Lat heavy fan for 30+ years but find that my old faves don't seem to have the taste they once did. I've been sampling some aro blends for a couple of years now and at first blush I like this. I find the maple flavor very subtle and slightly sweet. I'm over sensitive to nicotine but have not been affected. by this so far. I like the tin note, no opinion on room note just yet. I look forward to trying this in some other pipes but......so far, so good.
Mac Baren - Plumcake 3.5oz
I bought a tin of this a little over a year ago and was not impressed at all. I gave it another try today and took care to puff slowly. I was surprised that I enjoyed it and think that I'll try a few more bowls. Maybe a larger bowl packed loosely. I think it's wise not to give up on a new blend too quickly. Nice subtle flavor which I completely missed on my first two or three tries.
G. L. Pease - Gaslight 2oz
Too Much For Me
Though I really looked forward to trying this blend I was surprised to find that it left me light headed and feeling distinctly unpleasant. Why? Who knows but perhaps the nicotine content is too high for me. I generally like full English Lat heavy blends but I'll approach this with caution in the future.
Lighters - Kiribi Kabuto Mizo Silver
Best Ever Pipe Lighter
This Kabuto is a great tool. Trouble free and goes forever without re-filling. My only gripe is that the Mizo Silver finish is a little too slippery. I'll likely order one of the other Kiribi models with leather for a better grip.
G. L. Pease - Abingdon 8oz
After a slow start Abingdon is becoming my favorite Lat blend ever. Why my first couple of bowls seemed dull remains a mystery but now that I'm half-way through the tin I really enjoy it. I'll order an 8oz. can next.
Lane Limited - Andullo 1.75oz
I've been on a losing streak of sorts when trying new blends. With the exception of Abingdon and La Gloria Cubana I've not liked much lately but Andullo is exception. I enjoy the flavor. I taste a bit of vanilla, some slight anise and an occasional hit of cigar leaf. I am missing the Lat on this first bowl in a Briar Works Bullcap but it may show up in subsequent bowls. For my taste this bridges the gap 'tween a stout English and an American style aro. It burns very cool. I'll buy a few tins more.
Iwan Ries - Three Star Blue 1.5oz
A Nice Change
I generally hate aromatics but lately I've been coming around. This is very subtle but I like the flavor no matter that I cannot identify the taste. Has been tasty in 4 different pipes so I'll likely keep a pouch around.
Sutliff - Molto Dolce 1.5oz
Where is the flavor? A Peterson that ALWAYS gives a flavorful smoke, then a cob delivered no taste. On the other hand it smoked well and left no goop in my pipes. I'll keep trying.
G. L. Pease - Maltese Falcon 2oz
Is It Me, Or The Pipe???
My first try of this Pease blend was dull, so dull I can’t recall which pipe I used. Second bowl in a small Peterson bulldog; zero, zip, nada in the taste dept. Nevertheless I'm not givin'up. Perhaps like my experience with some other blends it just wants the right pipe.
G. L. Pease - Abingdon 2oz
My first two bowls, in and Ashthon and a Peterson were bland and not appealing. Subsequent tries in an Eltang, a Dunhill, and a Ferndown were quite nice with a full but not overwhelming Latakia taste.
Lane Limited - La Gloria Cubana 1.75oz
A Solid Smoke
This is what I'm reaching for instead of my previous fave Crown Achievement. It's similar but a touch more Latakia taste for me.
Pipe Accessories - Neerup Leather Tobacco Mat Chocolate
Show A Little Class
Stop using some funky old receipt from Smoking Pipes.com. This is a perfect size and not too thick. Great value.
Cult - Blood Red Moon 50g
A Real Surprise
As a confirmed heavy English smoker I've hated aromatics of any stripe until I tried this one. No sludge, no bite......a great change of pace. I'll keep this one around.
Books - In Search of Pipe Dreams - Rick Newcombe
Fun and Informative Reading
Nice writing style. Reminds me a bit of Rick Hacker. I was happy to find mention of a pal of mine in one of the chapters. Worth the money.
Blog's Commented on
One Man's Rotation
- ► For a long while I smoked my English pipes most frequently with four Ferndowns my faves.Being an inveterate Italophile however I've begun to covet Jacono and Radice which now fill my wishlist. A few knock-about Barlings and Petersons are always within reach as well.
Pipe Cleaner Woes
- ► Well, I seem to recall a smart fellow once told me "everybody needs to geek out over SOMETHING."I use a ton of pipe cleaners and I use an Albieri sleeve to keep 'em straight. I guess I'm proud to be a geek.
Recommendations For Building A Pipe Rotation
- ► I've been a pipe smoker for 30 years and I'm fortunate to have quite a few pipes of both thoroughbred and workhorse types as Jeremy termed them. Most are devoted to English blends and a few are reserved for aromatics. I generally smoke just one bowl a day so it's easy to give 'em a good rest. The exception of course is with a new pipe (currently I'm trying not to over smoke my new Radice).I've become rather fussy about keeping my pipes clean so I usually attend to them as soon as they cool down when the bowl is done.
- ► Thanks for a nice article. My first trip to a pipe shop was a Tinder Box store in a big mall. It was fun, I bought a Peterson and some tobacco.A few weeks later I discovered a more serious shop, Liberty Tobacco in San Diego, and that is where my fascination really began in earnest. Plenty of couches and chairs and an always affable group to hang out with. That was back in the eighties and although I live in a different state now Liberty is still thriving.
Top 11 Best-Selling English Blends
- ► I've been a piper since the 80's and have smoked most all of the blends on the list at one time or another. For the last couple of months my fave English is G.L. Pease Abingdon. To my taste it is Lat Heaven in most any pipe but particularly my Ferndown 3 Star bent. So many blends.....so little time.